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Bilingualism and Communication: Motivation, Soft Skills and Leadership Essay

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Updated: Feb 7th, 2022

Children of the youngest age, school pupils, university students, and adults worldwide are encouraged to learn a new language for multiple reasons. While bilingualism is mostly motivated by traveling, relocating, or an increase in employability, it is also connected with the development of soft skills. This essay will focus on the effects of learning a foreign language on communication competency, specifically interpersonal, cultural, and leadership skills.

Firstly, one of the essential effects of learning a new language is an increase in interpersonal skills. Fox et al. (2019) found that bilingualism increases vocabulary in both the language that is being learned and the mother tongue, which makes a person a better speaker. It also benefits students’ conversating skills since the language learning process requires a person to constantly talk to others. This direct interrelation shows that acquiring a new language affects one’s communication and interpersonal skills.

The second effect is the stimulation of cultural competence, which significantly influences one’s ability to socialize in a modern globalized environment. Fox et al. (2019) reported that many American employers seek workers who explicitly state their ability to communicate in additional languages due to the benefits that this skill provides. Some of them are described as “communicating genuinely across borders with linguistic, cultural, and intercultural competence” (Fox et al., 2019, p. 2). This evidence shows that bilinguals adopt a cross-cultural competency that allows them to integrate into an increasingly international setting both professionally and personally.

Lastly, learning a foreign language causes a student to develop leadership skills. One of the aspects of language acquisition that lead to better leadership is collaboration. Kosharna et al. (2019) suggest that language students have to develop an approach to new kinds of people and worldviews due to peculiarities in semantics. As a result, bilinguals cooperate more effectively with people from different backgrounds. Additionally, the language barrier causes a person to improve elaboration and critical thinking to communicate a particular message. Thus, language learners can manage communication with different kinds of people, making them successful team workers and leaders.

In conclusion, language learning stimulates the development of communication skills. Many students pick up a foreign language to travel or increase their employability but unknowingly enhance their interpersonal, cross-cultural, and teamwork skills. These three effects of bilingualism on communication skills show that learning a new language is beneficial on multiple levels, making a learner a better communicator in both their native and learned language.

References

Fox, R., Corretjer, O., & Webb, K. Benefits of foreign language learning and bilingualism: An analysis of published empirical research 2012–2019. Foreign Language Annals, 13(1), 1-28.

Kosharna, N., Sytnyk, O., & Labunets, Y. Formation of future teachers’ leadership qualities through learning a foreign language. (ICSEAL 2019), 3(1), 1-17. Web.

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IvyPanda. "Bilingualism and Communication: Motivation, Soft Skills and Leadership." February 7, 2022. https://ivypanda.com/essays/bilingualism-and-communication/.

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IvyPanda. 2022. "Bilingualism and Communication: Motivation, Soft Skills and Leadership." February 7, 2022. https://ivypanda.com/essays/bilingualism-and-communication/.

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IvyPanda. (2022) 'Bilingualism and Communication: Motivation, Soft Skills and Leadership'. 7 February.

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